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Charles H. Norton was a dealer in cattle, and kept a meat market for some years, with better impulses of heart than his rough manner might indicate.
Ransom O'Connor was a thriving farmer, and for many years an active member of the Disciple Church in Collamer.
James W. Kingsbury, the last member of Judge Kingsbury's family, lived on the old homestead, formerly in the township of Newburgh, but now the city of Cleveland. He was an interesting and well disposed citizen, leaving to his orphan children the legacy of a good name and a Christian character.
Mrs. Deborah Crocker was at the time of her death one of the oldest residents of this county; trained from early childhood in the school of pioneer life, and deeply impressed with the truths of religion, she developed into full grown Christian womanhood, and for many years her influence for good, strong and sustaining, did much good, and will long linger in the hearts and memory of those who knew her.
Jacob Lowman commenced working in this city at the age of twenty-two; after working a year for Mr. Elisha Peet, at the smithing department of carriage building, he bought out his employer and employed one wagon maker and one carriage builder, he himself doing the smithing. From this small beginning he steadily prospered until he became one of the most extensive and best known carriage manufacturers of the State. The sterling qualities of head and heart which marked his earlier years, were prominent throughout his whole life, and coupled as were those with the fear of God, he could be none other than what he was: a good citizen, a wise counselor, a strong pillar in the Church of God, and a loving and judicious father.
Judge Jesse P. Bishop was at the time of his death one of the vice-presidents of our Association, and a resident of Cleve. land forty-four years; and here I take the liberty of quoting from the notice in one of our city papers at the time of his death, of this good man: “As an incorruptible judge, an honest and laborious lawyer, a public spirited citizen, a zealous Christian,
an exemplary husband and father, and a friend to the poor and needy, he was a man among men, and the people of Cleveland of all professions, sects and parties among whom he lived and wrought for nearly half a century, feel a personal and irreparable loss in his death, which is the strongest and most eloquent tribute that can be paid to the worth and memory of any one."
To the memory and worth of our deceased honorary member, James A. Garfield, who was at the time of his death President of the United States, it would be presumption, with all that has been said and written about him, to add anything. A nation's grief and sorrow at his cruel and untimely death, and the warm sympathy of the whole civilized world, must be accepted as a better tribute to his memory than any thing that can be said here.
CALL BY THE PRESIDENT FOR VOLUNTEER
The next on the programme was a call from the president for volunteer speeches. A number of responses were made, and they were without exception witty and extertaining, and were heartily appreciated and applauded.
Judge Daniel R. Tilden was the first member called upon. He led off with a joke at his own expense, and then informed the assembly that last year at their meeting he was discouraged on seeing so many black heads, but this year the case had altered a little. The white head was the badge of pioneerism, he said. He concluded by showing how our advanced civilization was worked out by the strokes of these hardy men and women.
RESPONSE BY A. J. WILLIAMS, ESQ.
MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN :
I am admonished that time is of the essence of these off-hand speeches, and that each must fall within the limitation of ten minutes. I am further advised by a kind whisper from our honored treasurer that the early history of Chagrin Falls should be my theme. If I am to be restricted to matters of interest in the early history of that enterprising little village, then the time allowed me is more than ample to compass its entire history.
I moved from Ontario county, N. Y., to Chagrin Falls, in 1840;- about seven years after the woodman's axe was first sounded in the forest where the village now stands. The little village was then in three townships and two counties. The townships were Orange and Solon in Cuyahoga county, and Russell in Geauga. The township of Chagrin Falls was not organized until about 1845. The principal street running through the village was on the line dividing Cuyahoga and Geauga counties. In 1841, by an act of the Legislature, Cuyahoga county was enlarged by adding thereto that portion of the present township of Chagrin Falls that theretofore had been in Geauga. Prior to the organization of Chagrin Falls township, the few voters of the village cast their ballots in the original three townships named.
That year, 1840, was distinguished for the peculiar arguments and methods adopted by the Whigs in the Harrison-Van Buren campaign. These arguments and methods consisted of a free use of hard cider: making the air resonant with doggerel songs:
“ Tippecanoe and Tyler too,
and in the display in processions of coon-skins and miniature log
cabins. What could the poor locofocos say in answer to such logic? Simply, nothing.
The Whigs had an oracle at Chagrin, Dr. J. H. Vincent, then a candidate for the Legislature. He played the fife, was a good singer, and could make a speech. The Democrats had no oracle. They were characteristically meek and forbearing. They partook of the hard cider, enjoyed the songs, and admired the emblematic displays of their enemies with Christian fortitude; but when the Whigs improvised a cannon with which to disturb their early morning slumbers, it proved too much, and they determined that that thing should be suppressed. Sure enough, one bright morning the Whigs awoke to find their gun non est. The Democrats had borrowed that gun and buried it in a swamp near by, where it remained until 1844, when it was resurrected to celebrate the election of James K. Polk. To the discomfiture of the jubilant Democracy, however, that year the Whigs, in turn, quietly borrowed the gun and threw it over the falls, where it has since been buried in the waters of Chagrin River.
The hard-cider argument was a little more difficult for the Democrats to handle. There were so few of them that they found their capacity inadequate to dispose of it by the rules of Democratic logic, in such case made and provided. I remember well, when, on a Saturday evening, our hilarious opponents laid in a barrel of hard cider preparatory to a campaign trip the next Monday. The barrel was rolled into the Whig store of Hillis & James. There was a double door to the store, only one of which was used. Through this door the barrel was taken, rolled around and left with one head about two feet from the other door. The Democrats were around, with their hands in their pockets, watching and whistling. One of their number, Ben Hull, who had an engineer's eye, took in the situation, and carefully measured the distance from the door to the barrel; keeping his own counsels, he at once procured an auger, took it to a forge, lengthened it as the necessities of the case required, and in the dead of that night, when all Whigs were slumbering,
bored through the store-door and into the barrel. On the next, Sunday, morning, the Whigs, one by one, came around to consult about the programme of the morrow, and to draw cheer and courage from the bung-hole of that barrel. Their consternation was beyond utterance, when, upon examination, they found that their logical beverage had gone beyond the reach of their straws, and the barrel was empty! The news of this Democratic outrage was soon communicated to all the faithful. It was Sunday, but during that campaign Sunday was like any other day. Business and religion were alike suspended, and the “Smith Sunday Law” had not then been heard of. Another barrel of hard cider was readily procured and on hand for Monday's revelry.
In 1842, C. T. Blakeslee and Jehu Brainerd inaugurated a monthly journal at Chagrin Falls, entitled Farmers and Mechanics' Journal. It was a pamphlet publication, copiously illustrated. Mr. Brainerd did all the engraving, and he and Blakeslee made the wooden press upon which the Journal was. printed. I am informed that it was the first agricultural paper published in Ohio. In a short time Blakeslee sold out his interest to one H. C. Calkins, who, with Prof. Brainerd, continued the publication of the Journal until 1844, when they sold the establishment to one H. G. Whipple. Whipple conceived that Chagrin Falls was a good field for missionary work. Mormonism had flourished there; the Millerites had taken the place by storm in 1843; every phase of religious fanaticism had taken ready root there; and above all, Whiggery prevailed; and why was it not a good field for the missionary? Whipple thought so, and when he bought out Brainerd & Calkins he issued in Chagrin Falls a red-hot Democratic newspaper. Think of it,--Democratic newspaper printed in Chagrin Falls! I would as soon think of re-publishing the Standard of the Cross in the jungles of Central Africa, as to print a Democratic paper in Chagrin Falls. His missionary work went on thoroughly for about a month; perhaps a week or two longer. Whipple was